|I am home today … taking an online course, sitting at the dining table with my daughter as she draws pictures of strawberries and frogs. I may make a cup of tea, and if the weather holds up I might head outside to do some gardening. Sunshine, quiet connection … this is what self-care looks like for me today.|
|Self-care hasn’t always looked this way, though some similar themes run through my self-care routines like a thread. As a child I was a voracious reader, and loved to play games with friends (Yahtzee!). In college I was a bit more social, and filled my bucket spending time with friends listening to music, taking road trips, and going to concerts and Florida Gator football games. In my young adulthood I discovered cooking and writing, and even wrote a small cookbook for friends and family one holiday season (which I realize now was an exercise in self-care during my very stressful dissertation process). And as I settled into my career and became a mom, activities that tend towards quiet and solitude have nourished me — quiet walks in nature, yoga, meditation and midafternoon catnaps. I believe that as we evolve, our self-care needs do too. Maybe our life circumstances, our available resources, or our physical or emotional needs change. When I hurt my shoulder a few years ago I was forced to adapt my self-care routine to accommodate for my physical pain. When I began working intensively with trauma clients, my self-care routine also evolved to stave off compassion fatigue. And when I had kids, I noticed I craved alone time in a way I hadn’t before. The last letter of our self-care mnemonic this month, the “E” in CARE, represents how important it is that we allow our self-care efforts to evolve and adapt to our ever-changing lives. By practicing mindfulness we can stay abreast of our needs as they shift, and with that awareness we can modify our self-care strategies as we see fit. It is said that change is inevitable, but growth is optional. I say take the reins of life in hand and steer towards health and ease by bringing intentional attention and curiosity to your needs regularly. And as the road of life twists and turns, maybe you need to downshift or refuel or take a different route. Allow for this flexibility in how you care for YOU, knowing that the journey IS the destination. And that with each leg of life’s trip you may need a different type of pit stop. Maybe take a moment right now and ask yourself, what nourishes me in my life today? How is that different from what used to fill my tank, and how can I make room in my day-to-day life for this new type of self-care? And let us know what you notice!|
With steadfast while ever-evolving love,
Nikki and the rest of the Treehouse faculty
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Nicole Davis is a licensed psychologist practicing at Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches. Dr. Davis starts with the core belief that each person already has everything they need to live a life of joy and fulfillment, and that therapy is just a process of uncovering their inherent wholeness. Dr. Davis gently invites her clients to uncover their strengths in a safe and non-judgmental environment. Dr. Davis completed MBSR facilitator training through the Center for Mindfulness at UCSD. Dr. Davis is also a 200-hour trained yoga teacher registered with Yoga Alliance.